Categorized | Blog

Leadership lessons from the front line in war

I confess.  I’m an ANZAC Day junkie.  Every year I’m glued to the History Channel, watching the same re-runs of Gallipoli landings and Kokoda combats.  Part of it stems from the memory of my Pop-Pop, who fought in World War II on the western front and in New Guinea.  And part of it is a deep and genuine respect for those men who gave their lives in honour of their God and country.  And this year, as a first-time mum, it was with a sense of sadness for the those mothers who’ve farewelled their sons in times of conflict, never to see them again.

As I watch and re-learn the tales of heroism and mateship and gallantry, I’m again left wondering: are leaders made or are they born?  Because one of the few good things to come out of war are the stories that unfold of men in the front line who can only be described as true leaders.

I think of our ANZACs as true leaders because:

1. They have courage under fire.  They push on even if the odds are stacked against them through a shear belief that what they are doing is right and is for the better good.
2. They are unconditionally committed to supporting their mates and the people they’re working with, and wouldn’t dream of abandoning one of their own at a time of need.
3.  They can distinguish the issue from the person – this is evident in stories of ANZACs leaving the trenches on Christmas Day to exchange gifts and greetings with the enemy.  After all, on Christmas Day, their enemy didn’t want to be at war any more than the ANZACs did.
4.  They are persisent, pushing on month after month in conditions that could only be described as unbearable until the job is done.
5.  They are resilient, suffering blow after blow, physically and psychologically, yet are still able to find the strength to go on and fight another day.
6.  They are heros but don’t ask for any special recognition or treatment.  To an ANZAC, they are just doing their job.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a soldier at war, but what I can say for sure that I’m in awe of the leaders they are and the job they do.  It’s humbling to consider whether anything I do in my lifetime could compare with what a soldier does to ensure his country’s freedom.  I’m quite sure there’s nothing I could do to express my admiration and gratitude adequately.  So I will simply say this: thank you to our ANZACs past and present.  You make me proud to call myself an Australian.


* indicates required

Join Me On Facebook

This message is only visible to admins.
PPCA Error: Due to Facebook API changes it is no longer possible to display a feed from a Facebook Page you are not an admin of. The Facebook feed below is not using a valid Access Token for this Facebook page and so has stopped updating.